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First Time Home Buyers Guide

Aug 15, 2008
So you have decided to buy your first home and off to the right start, but is your decision an informed one? First and foremost, home buyers should be aware of the pitfalls out there when buying a home not to mention being knowledgeable and realistic about what you are getting, before you sign any piece of paper. That is of course unless you have more money than you know what to do with and financial setbacks won't be an issue. Of course if that's the case, I am always accepting donations, just kidding! But seriously, do you have that kind of money?

For the sake of this article we will assume that money is an object, therefor you need to get a great deal and know what you are up against before buying. The easiest way to do that is to break this guide down into more manageable sections, which we will call Financial, and Labor, both of which are dirty words. Assuming that you have been out on your own for a while, you have probably been renting either a house or apartment so you already have a good understanding about financial obligation as it relates to your monthly rent payments, probably utility bills and so forth. However, you may not have had a great deal of hands on experience with the labor aspect of this process, and believe me labor can be a very big part of owning a home, just ask a homeowner. So lets get on with it.

Financial Obligations of Owning Your Own Home:

So here are a few of the financial obligations associated with owning a home, mull over these for a little while before deciding to buy.

Your mortgage, including principal and interest.

Have you given any thought about property taxes?

How about your homeowners Insurance?

Don't forget those utilities, which may include electric, gas, water, sewer, garbage, phone lines and so on.

Can't leave out the fun stuff like cable, Internet and maybe security service.

There is also general maintenance and upkeep of the property, you know things like painting, replacing worn out fixtures, etc.

Never thought about the majority of the items above? That is okay because the truth of the matter is that most first time home buyers simply don't. Just because you may be able to afford the home payments doesn't mean that you can afford the home, so keep that in mind while house hunting. Oh and just in case, this would be the best time to set up a clearly constructed and realistic budget, that way you have a better idea of what exactly you have to spend!

Labor and Time Involved with Owning a Home:

Every homeowner has a certain amount of labor and time that they need to put forth in an effort to upkeep their new home, you could choose to hire this work out but then you start raising your financial obligations above, so you have to weight the cost and benefit of tasks such as:

Lawn maintenance which may include mowing, gardening, pruning trees and bushes, weed removal, leaf removal, and snow removal, etc.

There is also the exterior maintenance of a home, this usually includes painting and associated preparation for painting, cleaning gutters, cleaning and maintaining decks and walk ways, fence repair, cleaning siding, moss and mold removal, weather proofing and so forth.

You should also consider the interior maintenance, you know items like house cleaning, replacement/repair of leaking faucets, windows, doors, carpet and floor cleaning and care. Painting, replacement of electrical fixtures, sockets and switches, up keep on heating and cooling system, including filter changes, duct cleaning and insulating.

Unexpected repairs, including water damage, appliance replacement, fire or smoke damage, weather damage, etc.

Well if you walk away with nothing else from this article than a better idea of what to expect when you purchase a home at least you are one step closer to having the information, and the resources to make an informed decision to buy a new home.
About the Author
Jessica provides sound advice for first time home buyers that is sure to help you make the right decision about buying a home.
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